Building Regulations versus Planning Permission

It is generally realised that a form of permission is required for building work or alterations of properties. However, it may not always be clear how the Planning and Building Regulations approval processes differ.

Building Regulations

Building Regulations set standards for the design and construction of buildings. This is to ensure the safety and health for people in or about those buildings.

They also include requirements to ensure that fuel and power is conserved and facilities are provided for people, including those with disabilities, to access and move around inside buildings.

Planning Permission

Planning seeks to guide the way our towns, cities and countryside develop.  This includes the use of land & buildings, the appearance of buildings, landscaping considerations, highway access and the impact that the development will have on the general environment.


For many types of building work, separate permission under both areas will be required.  For other building work, such as internal alterations, buildings regulations approval will probably be required, but planning permission may not be. 

If you are carrying out, or having construction or building work done, you may need to notify the Health and Safety Executive and may have other duties as well under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

Although a domestic client does not have duties under CDM 2007, those who are employed by them on construction projects will. If you are in any doubt, please contact us and we will be happy to advise you.